31 August 2008

Victoria Cross: C. Heaphy


Major, Auckland Militia, New Zealand Military Forces

Born: 1822, St John's Wood, London
Died: 3 August 1881, Brisbane, Australia

Citation: For his gallant conduct at the skirmish on the banks of the Mangapiko River, in New Zealand, on the 11th of February, 1864, in assisting a wounded soldier of the 40th Regiment, who had fallen into a hollow among the thickest of the concealed Maoris. Whilst doing so, he became the target for a volley at a few feet distant. Five balls pierced his clothes and cap, and he was wounded in three places. Although hurt, he continued to aid the wounded until the end of the day.
Major Heaphy was at the time in charge of a party of soldiers of the 40th and 50th Regiments, under the orders of Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Henry Marshman Havelock, Bart., C.B., V.C., the Senior Officer on the spot, who had moved rapidly down to the place where the troops were hotly engaged and pressed.

(London Gazette Issue 23217 dated 8 Feb 1867, published 8 Feb 1867.)

Note: Major Heaphy was the first soldier serving with the New Zealand Army to be awarded the Victoria Cross.
Sir Henry Havelock VC CB had been awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions as a lieutenant in the 10th Regiment of Foot, at Cawnpore in July of 1857.

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